Tavelocity Makes Nice Gnome Space

Random Culture points to an article in Adweek today about brand icons on MySpace.

Travelocity is the latest advertiser to seek out friends on MySpace through an ad icon.
The company’s Roaming Gnome mascot, introduced in 2004, has established a profile on MySpace (www.myspace.com/roaminggnome) that offers users special perks and deals when they add him as a friend.
Ad icons have proven big draws on the social network. Burger King has used its King mascot to gather 135,000 friends, Wendy’s used its Square character to attract 70,000 friends, and Honda’s Gil the Crab has also established a healthy following.

Travelocity’s page is one of the nicer layouts I’ve seen on MySpace.
If you know of other advertising characters active in the social networking space, please tell us about it the comments.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Color me naive, but at what point, having removed any trace of rawness / honesty / individual identity, does a MySpace page simply become a microsite? (Which itself seems code for a simple webpage, albeit with a more narrowly defined target?)
    (To further show my confusion, I still think of “blogs” as nothing more than webpages that get updated more than mine. With stream-of-consciousness typos, vs. my own more ponderous sort.)
    I am geniuinely curious.

  2. The reason MySpace is important to brands has to do with the fact that a great number of people already spend valuable time there making virtual friends and so on. The power is the community. While one can create community at their own site, I think it’s important to attend someone else’s party once in awhile. In other words, it’s important to be social out in the world, not just in one’s own living room or back yard.

  3. I understand. Though I’m not sure I appreciate the nuance (disclaimer: I do not frequent MySpace with anything approaching regularity).
    How does surfing at a networked site full of anonymous people constitute “being social”? How is this community any different from any other online, click-through group of people following their interests? Interests that might take them right past the obviously commercial “friends” they can acquire at certain MySpace sites / blogs / web pages comment areas?
    To my original point, though … I think of walking through my own real neighborhood, and how uninclined I am to stop for sales pitches. Even (or especially) those that come far too slicked up from folks who are supposed to be my neighbors. I simply wonder at what executional/creative point these MySpace pages accidentally remove themselves from the rawer MySpace community. By becoming McMansions on a street of humble, more genuine houses.
    I look at the site above, and I simply see another corporate webpage. What am I missing?

  4. Q. How does surfing at a networked site full of anonymous people constitute “being social”?
    A. For me, it’s more about real offline friends that you can link with online. Sure, you also “meet” new people, but that often comes about via a friend of a friend.
    Q. I look at the site above, and I simply see another corporate webpage. What am I missing?
    A. It’s not just another corporate web page because these characters participate actively in the community. They make friends, they chat, etc. In other words, they’re alive, not trapped in a static ad somewhere.